Lesson Plan

Think Like a Bird

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Grade Level:
Second Grade-Fourth Grade
Subject:
Art, Biology: Animals, Ecological Engineering, Wildlife Biology
Duration:
30 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24
Setting:
indoors or outdoors
National/State Standards:
Colorado Science: 2nd grade 2.1; 4th grade 2.3
Colorado Visual Arts: 2nd -4th grade 3.1; 4th grade 3.2
Keywords:
nest, habitat

Overview

Students will understand the complexities of nest building by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.

Objective(s)

Students will understand the complexities of nest building by attempting to design and build a nest themselves.

Background

Birds build nests just about anywhere, out of just about anything you can imagine. Small owls build nests in cavities in trees. Some even raise their young in burrows in the ground. Old buildings, mud homes, elegant nests that droop from branches, grassy hideouts, and depressions in the sand are all good-enough homes for various species birds. Eagles will carry large branches to their high nests. Other birds will use leaves, mud, saliva, trash, string, and their own feathers to construct homes for raising their young.

Explore Great Sand Dunes' web page on birds to learn more about the wide variety of birds in the park and preserve.

Materials

Clay, real eggs or egg-sized stones or pebbles, materials for nest-building (collected from schoolyard or home) large-size test cup for holding the nests

Procedure

Assessment

Do birds 'think' while building their nests? How do they 'know' how to build their nests? When birds build their nests are they acting creatively?

Extensions

An extension to this activity would be to construct different kinds of nests for different birds. For example: a hanging nest, a nest on a ledge, a mud nest attached to a cliff or wall, a nest in the grass.

Vocabulary

behavior, cavity